Issues with banks in HK

  • We believe that everyone - including ourselves - would benefit from an improvement in the service offered by banks in Hong Kong.

    Here you can share issues or difficulties you've experienced while banking in Hong Kong. Whether it's big or small; related to opening an account, customer service or e-banking; anything and everything.

    Of course we will take all of your comments into consideration when it comes to developing our product, as our aim is to provide a better experience. And hopefully this will become a popular forum so banks themselves will also be able to take note directly. If they donโ€™t, weโ€™ll make sure to create a solution for you ๐Ÿ˜‰!

  • To begin with my own issues, when I was new to Hong Kong I had several problems.

    • I couldn't get a credit card when I just got here as there is no credit history and an empty bank account. To my surprise, the "debit" cards in HK cannot be used online which means I had no way to shop online! (unless using my credit card from my home country; lost so much money on exchange rates this year ๐Ÿ˜ญ)

    • Opening a bank account took FOREVER. The letter sent to my house as a proof of address took a while to get there. Then I had to visit a branch (no idea why I couldn't simply take a photo!?) to hand in the letter. There was an issue which meant they had to re-send the letter. Wait all over again.... In the end it took me around 3 weeks to finally get my ATM card.

    But when everything was set up, the pains didn't stop there.

    • I changed my mobile number twice this year. Changing this online or over e-mail (or even over phone) was apparently not an option. Had to go to the branch ๐Ÿ˜ข same was true when I received my HKID. Do people really love their branch so much ๐Ÿ˜ฎ?!

    • Shocked to find out that, unlike in my home country (The Netherlands), transferring to other banks in the city is not easy, free or fast. It's so annoying that I can't just easily split a bill with friends and quickly pay them back through a banking app.

    • Surprised too that setting up automatic payments cannot be done, well, automatically and paperless. I never got around to going to the branch and handing in the form 3HK gave me to set up automatic payments. This means that every single month I go into the phone store to pay my bill ๐Ÿ˜‘..

    • Just generally don't like the online banking interface. It's not user friendly. At all. Some HK banks even require you to visit their branch to set up new payees. It feels like going 10 years back in time!

    *End of rant ๐Ÿ˜‰ *

    Now we want to hear your stories!

  • I wanted to open a bank account in Hong Kong when I was visiting from the UK and didn't yet live here. I didn't have significant funds to deposit and wanted to find a bank that didn't require any minimum deposits or high balance. Even though I brought all the required documents, it turned out to be really difficult to open a bank account while not yet living here!

  • Had so many issues with my online banking, it's driving me crazy!! Even though it's called "online" banking I feel like I need to go to the branch for everything and sign and fill out dozens of useless forms. Why do we need a piece of paper for everything? I had to change my limit to pay some bills and was not able to do this online. Called up and the bank told me to visit the branch and pay there (then what's the point of internet banking in the first place?). No one told me this when I opened my account...

  • I am used to waiting in the bank, but what I hate the most is every time I go there, they will do some cross-selling about their insurance products. Once you want to be kind to them, they will force you to listen to their account manager for at least half an's a nightmare to waste time on something you really don't want....

  • I had a bad experience with opening a cooperate account in HK as well. After more than 4,5 visits to a branch and waiting nearly 1 month, my account was opened. After that, I was told that we had to prove our company profitable to apply a company credit card. But I need it to pay online services like AWS, Google Adwords, etc. (my partners and I don't want to use our own credit cards and we want to use just one cooperate card to save us time for accounting ). If there is a cooperate debit card that can pay those services. It will help us a lot. :)

  • @iris_neat said in Issues with banks in HK:

    • Shocked to find out that, unlike in my home country (The Netherlands), transferring to other banks in the city is not easy, free or fast. It's so annoying that I can't just easily split a bill with friends and quickly pay them back through a banking app.

    Just wanted to jump in on this; I just learnt that I've been charged every time someone transfers me money! In Malaysia and Singapore where I've lived, this is unheard of! In fact, the banks there actually encourage people to send money via the mobile apps (e-lai see, anyone?)

  • Yep, no local credit card in HK means:

    • no phone subscription (prepaid is ok but subscription is so much better, especially if you want unlimited data)
    • no gym
    • no online purchases of flights (and I travel a lot)
    • no other online services (James mentions this above too).

    Furthermore, yes, banks give absolutely Horrible Service to Banking Customers (the worst one so far being - well, you can probably guess), so the less time I spend in their branches, the better. Trying to get a credit card from an HK bank is probably one of the circles of hell as described by Dante.

    So yes, in Hong Kong, you really need a credit card, and at the same time, banks make it nearly impossible to get one, so I am very happy to have Neat, even if it takes 1,5 business day to top-up my card.

  • Another thing we noticed and affects our customers - so it's useful to know -, some banks do not process online(!!) transfers after business hours. And the UX does not make it so clear to the user the transfer did not go through (it only shows small on the top in the what seems to be "confirmation" screen)... The customer needs to click extra buttons to confirm they want to process the transfer.


  • @iris_neat That's probably because these Horrible Service Banking Corporations use IBM servers and technologies that are older than myself or probably most people at Neat :D

Log in to reply

Looks like your connection to neat was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.